By Kyla Guilfoil, Editor-in-Chief
We’ve made it: Election Day 2022. This Tuesday, every seat in the House of Representatives and 35 of 100 Senate seats are up for grabs, plus, 36 states are electing a governor.
With razor-thin margins in several key races this election, a few states are likely to make-or-break the Democratic and Republican agendas for the next few years. Here’s a breakdown of where there are high-stakes elections.
Since the last major election year in 2020, dozens of states have passed new congressional maps — maps that essentially designate who votes for which representatives. This process, called “redistricting” often affects which party has an edge in certain elections.
With the new maps, a few states moved to favor Republicans and others to favor Democrats.
In Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Maryland and Tennessee, the new maps now favor Republicans more than in the previous maps. For Arizona and Florida, two swing states, the impact is already becoming apparent in the election.
As of Nov. 6, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was projected to best Democrat Katie Hobbs with a projected margin of 50.8% of the state’s votes, FiveThirtyEight reported. In Florida, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Desantis had a clear lead over Democrat Charlie Christie with a projected 54.9% of the state’s votes, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio is also leading his Democrat opponent, Val Demmings, with 53.9% of the votes, according to FiveThirtyEight. Arizona’s Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters is currently holding 48.1% of the vote, a couple points behind Democrat Mark Kelly.
Plus, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls on Nov. 6, it looks like the majority of Florida and Arizona’s districts are looking bright red for Election Day.
On the flip side, the new maps give Democrats a better edge in Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon.
Nevada is proving to be a key swing state this election, with close races for governor, Senate and House of Representatives. For the governor’s race, there was just one point between Republican Joe Lombardo and Democrat Steve Sisolak on Nov. 6, FiveThirtyEight says.
The Senate race is also a toss-up according to FiveThirtyEight, with just one point separating Republican Adam Paul Lexalt and Democrat Catherine Cortez Mastro.
The House races are also tight, with two districts too tight to call and one each likely to go to the Democrats and Republicans.
Beyond the states with major shifts in their congressional maps, other swing state races are leaving pollsters on the edge of their seats.
Pennsylvania’s Senate race has proven to be a rollercoaster, with previous favorite Democrat John Fetterman losing some of his lead on Republican Mehmet Oz. Fetterman, who suffered a stroke earlier this year, dropped in the polls after showing some difficulties in his ability to hear questions and respond at a debate in October.
Now, Fetterman is up just .4 points up from Oz on FiveThirtyEight on Nov. 6.
Georgia’s Senate race is also projected as a toss-up, with Republican Herschel Walker up just .5 points from Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock.
With the Senate still projected to be in a dead heat, Republicans and Democrats are both at stake of losing major sway in the legislative branch.
However, Republicans are sitting pretty when it comes to the House. As of Nov. 4, FiveThirtyEight reported Democrats to only have roughly a 1 in 5 chance of keeping the House.
If Democrats maintain the House and take the Senate, President Biden has pledged to codify Roe v. Wade and prioritize programs like Medicaid and Social Security.
Republicans’ 2022 campaigns have largely harped on inflation and crime.
With Biden’s approval rating at just 42.1% on Election Day, it will be a tall order for Democrats to keep a majority in Congress.
Will a pledge to codify Roe give Democrats the edge they need to stay competitive? Will Americans decide Republicans can save their pocketbooks from inflation?
Come back next week to see.